Recipe courtesy of Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts
1 cup raw pecans
2 tblsp all-purpose flour
6 oz bittersweet chocolate (66 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
8 tblsp unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into chunks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Generous 1/8 tsp salt
4 cold large eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with butter. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake them for 7-10 minutes, stirring them once or twice, until they are toasted and fragrant. Scrape the nuts onto a plate and let them cool completely. Increase the oven temperature to 375. Once the nuts have cooled, pulse the pecans and the flour in the food processor until finely ground.
2. Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl, over a pot of simmering water, and stir occasionally until nearly melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir the chocolate until it is completely melted and smooth.
3. Transfer the chocolate into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat in the butter, granulated sugar, and salt until the butter is completely melted and the mixture thickens and lightens slightly in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat at medium-high speed for a minute or two, or until the batter is fluffy and lightened in color. Stir in the pecan mixture.
4. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted about 1.5 inches from the side of the pan comes out clean. The center will still be gooey.
5. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Slide a thin knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake and allow the thin crust on top to sink (slightly) as the cake cools. Let cool completely and remove from the pan. Garnish with powdered sugar or whipped cream, if desired. The torte can be kept covered at room temperature for at least 3 days, or frozen, well-wrapped for 3 months.
I am well aware that this luxurious chocolate-pecan torte recipe comes to you at the beginning of "clean eating" month. In January, many of us embark upon kale juice cleanses and grueling gym workouts in an effort to start the new year on the right foot. But this is a baking blog after all, and I could not wait to share this decadent, sinfully easy dessert.
You only need seven ingredients to throw this torte together. You could substitute hazelnuts or walnuts for pecans and omit the flour for a gluten-free version. The exterior surface crackles just barely after baking, contrasting well with the moist, but not sticky interior. My problem with so many chocolate tortes is their uniformity of flavor and denseness. This cake hit all the right notes: chocolatey but with depth of flavor from the pecans, and sturdy but not dry. It is definitely a crowd pleaser; my family members enthusiastically declared it one of the best baked goods I have ever made. Major score!
I recommend preparing the cake a day prior to serving it as the extra time enhances its richness. I enjoyed my piece plain, a chocolate purist, but vanilla bean ice cream or freshly whipped cream would complement it beautifully.